Abuse victim tells his story



A MAN who suffered intolerable abuse by warders in a Queensland boys home 40 years ago is offering his services to help combat an alarming rise in crime involving young people in the Clarence Valley.

Ray Ide, a former top Grafton rugby league player, is prepared to relate his horrific experiences to community groups and other organisations dealing with juvenile crime.

Ray, known by his friends as Poss, will be at the Grafton Hotel in Fitzroy Street next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to help promote the launch of a book detailing the nightmare that was the Westbrook Reformatory for Boys near Toowoomba.

He entered Westbrook at the age of 14, his nose shattered by an older inmate in an unprovoked attack just hours after his arrival. Ray suffered physical and mental abuse day in, day out for two years. He also witnessed the rape of boys as young as nine, and suicides. Two mass breakouts by inmates in 1962 exposed the horrors and the State-run centre was eventually shut down.

The book on Westbrook is a compilation of events told to author Cheryl Jorgensen by Ray Ide's close friend and fellow teenage inmate, Alfred Crow Fletcher.

nRay Ide's story is shocking and tragic. Read his interview with profiler Ian Thomson in a special Clarence Life feature tomorrow.



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